Cooking / Desserts / Recipe Index

Easiest Hamantaschen

This recipe popped up on my Instagram from Alma. The brand embodies the intersection of pop culture and Judaism, with a feminist skew. It’s fun Judaism for Millennials, basically. As Purim neared, and this recipe came through my feed, it looked too easy to pass up. What makes these the easiest hamantaschen? You cheat. Instead of making cookie dough, you use pre-made pie crust.

These hamantaschen can be made with exactly two ingredients. TWO. I remember my mom and grandma spending hours in the synagogue kitchen making thousands of cookies with the Sisterhood to be sold to the community. Making and rolling out that dough is certainly time consuming. For these hamantaschen, simply use pre-made pie crust (found in Trader Joe’s freezer section or other grocery stores’ refrigerated section). Cut the dough into circles (I didn’t have a cookie cutter so I just used the lid from one of my jars of filling. For filling, I made two versions: Trader Joe’s cookie butter and Trader Joe’s pumpkin butter. Pumpkin butter isn’t in season (I had it leftover), but there are plenty other things you could use for a funky fruit/jam filling. I would love to try one of Sqirl LA’s jams (like this black mission fig and red wine or rhubarb kumquat) or a thick dulce de leche (like this). Anyway, after cutting out your dough circles, place a 1/2 tsp of the filling in the center of each, fold up three sides to form a triangle and pinch closed. Note: do not overfill. they’ll open up in the oven and taste fine but won’t look good and will be impossible to transport. Bake in a 350-375 oven for about 15 minutes. Just check in and remove them when the dough starts to get golden brown. I melted some dark chocolate morsels in the microwave and used a spoon to drizzle it over half the cookies to take them up a notch. When I brought them into the office, the chocolate drizzled ones went first, naturally. Chocolate isn’t necessary and takes these to 3 ingredients (boo hoo) but doesn’t really increase the difficulty factor.

They don’t taste traditional and that’s for two reasons. The flavors are anything but standard. Usually, the wildest hamantaschen flavors are apricot and raspberry. These fillings are a bit more fun and the chocolate drizzle is all new so hold onto your hats. The dough is also less than traditional. I love that sweet cookie dough, but there’s no denying that pre-made pie crust is easier. It’s also buttery-er and flakier. Doesn’t taste like regular hamantaschen dough, but buttery and flaky are never things I’ll complain about. I’d like to try my hand at the real deal one day (still going rogue with the filling), but for now, this is a great quick fix that means I have no excuse not to celebrate the holiday with some festive treats each year.

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